clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

UFC Fight Night 60 fight card: Neil Magny vs Kiichi Kunimoto fight preview

Neil Magny and Kiichi Kunimoto will look to take another step up the welterweight ladder this Saturday (Feb. 14, 2015) at UFC Fight Night 60 inside the 1STBANK Center in Broomfield, Colorado. Between a rangy boxer and an in-fighter, what adjustments must be made for either man in order to claim victory? Find out how below!

Jason Silva-USA TODAY Sports

Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) welterweights Neil Magny and Kiichi Kunimoto will battle this Saturday (Feb. 14, 2015) at UFC Fight Night 60 on FOX Sports 1 from inside the 1STBANK Center in Broomfield, Colorado.

Magny had a highly impressive 2014. After having a losing record the year prior, Magny went on to tie the UFC record for most victories in a calendar year with five, over pretty decent competition. Now, Magny is looked at as a fighter with potential and will look to build from that in this bout.

Japan's Kunimoto may be on a three fight win streak, but it's not quite as impressive as it seems considering the questionable nature of his decision win over Richard Walsh. Still, Kunimoto did dispatch of Daniel Sarafian with ease, which shows some promise for his future.

Let's take a look at the keys to victory for both fighters.

Neil Magny

Record: 13-3

Key Wins: Alex Garcia (UFC Fight Night 49), Tim Means (UFC Fight Night 40), William Macario (UFC 179)

Key Losses: Seth Baczynski (UFC Fight Night 31), Sergio Moraes (UFC 163)

Keys to Victory: In each of his performances, Magny has showed solid improvement and developed his overall game quite well. Using his lengthy frame, Magny employs a high volume boxing attack and study takedown defense.

Additionally, Magny is a rather competent wrestler, particularly in the clinch. Against the submission specialist, his ability to use leverage from inside the clinch will be very important, as it's undoubtedly his opponent's game plan.

However, Magny could also make his life much easier by establishing his jab early. Magny has good movement, so if he can keep his jab in his opponent's face and score with other range strikes, he likely won't have to rely on his takedown defense.

Another advantage Magny has in this bout is conditioning. His opponent is older and not incredibly athletic, while Magny has proven his ability to work for three rounds numerous times. If Magny performs well, he could secure another late finish like he did against Macario.

In short, Kunimoto does not really bring anything to the table that Magny has yet to deal with in his career. This is another bout for Magny to further develop his skills and ready himself for the top of the division.

Kiichi Kunimoto

Record: 18-5-2

Key Wins: Daniel Sarafian (UFC 174), Richard Walsh (UFC Fight Night 52)

Key Losses: None

Keys to Victory: Kunimoto is an experienced grappler with nine submission victories. Utilizing his impressive physical strength and clinch takedowns, Kunimoto forces his opponent to the mat before smothering him with a submission hold.

While getting his foe to the mat will be a challenge, Kunimoto does have a pretty decent chance at landing the submission if he does score a takedown. Though Magny's defensive jiu-jitsu has improved, Kunimoto recently submitted a jiu-jitsu black belt in Sarafian.

Considering Magny's habit of getting caught in submissions, things could get bad for him rather quickly.

However, taking Magny down will be a much more difficult proposition. In order to drag his lengthy opponent to the floor, Kunimoto definitely needs to cut off the cage while in pursuit. Otherwise, he'll never get his hands on the former Ultimate Fighter (TUF) contestant.

If Kunimoto does manage to get a grip on his opponent, he needs to quickly secure a body lock. Should Kunimoto eliminate Magny's ability to use his length, then Kunimoto's physical strength should allow him to force the takedown.

Bottom Line: Both fighters are on decent win streaks inside one of the UFC's most crowded divisions. There's quite a few welterweights on the come up -- look no further than the main event for one of the most promising examples -- and the winner of this bout deserves to be considered one, as well.

Magny has done well carving out a position for himself in the division. At this point, the question becomes whether he will eventually make it into the rankings, an arduous task, or end up as a scrapper in the middle of the pack who wins more than he loses.

His performance against Kunimoto could help answer that question.

On the other hand, Kunimoto should likely be in the prime of his career. If the Japanese fighter is going to make even the slightest impact on the top of the welterweight division, the time is most certainly now. A victory over the streaking Magny could lead him to a bigger match up, precisely what he needs in order to move up the ranks.

At UFC Fight Night 60, Neil Magny and Kiichi Kunimoto will look to extend their win streaks. Which fighter will walk away with a win?

Sign up for the newsletter Sign up for the MMA Mania Daily Roundup newsletter!

A daily roundup of all your fighting news from MMA Mania